Report: Gators INF Kirby McMullen to Return for Redshirt Senior Season
Florida Gators infielder Kirby McMullen will return for a redshirt senior season, according to GatorCountry's Nick de la Torre.
McMullen started all 16 games of Florida's shortened 2020 season at third base, before the NCAA shut down all spring season athletics amidst the global coronavirus pandemic. An instrumental part of No. 1 Florida's 16-game win streak, before that streak was ended by Florida State on March 10th in the final game of the season, McMullen compiled a .278 batting average with one home run, 10 runs batted in, and 14 runs across 54 at-bats.
McMullen's .458 on-base percentage ranked second on the team for the 2020 season, being walked 14 times. Though he carried three seasons of pitching experience into the 2020 season, McMullen transitioned into the field this year while nearly doubling his career at-bats (31 entering the year) across only 16 games.
On March 30th, the Division 1 Council granted spring student-athletes a waiver for an extra year of eligibility after leagues were shut down from the pandemic, though it would be up to the schools to allow athletes to return as roster balance questions arose.
According to de la Torre's report, McMullen spoke with Gators coach Kevin O'Sullivan and was given the all-clear on returning. McMullen looks forward to playing in the new Florida Ballpark, which is set to open as the 2021 season kicks off.